Once again a small group of fundamentalist Christians [with an outlet in my city] preached the return of Jesus Christ and the rapture of true believers on a specific date. Strangely this date did not coincide with the "December 21, 2012" apocalypsers. Instead, the rapture was predicted for May 21, 2011... and the end times to happen some time later. Not surprisingly, these same May "rapturerers" were also YECs [Short-hand for "Young Earth Creationists" - i.e. believe the Genesis myth literally and thus believe the Earth is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old - never mind science... they're in denial about that.] In fact, they came up with this date with an impressively complex set of mathematics based on their version of the age of the earth, supposed timing for the events of the bible, and a literal interpretation of Revelations - you know, that mushroom trip of a book written by someone named "John" in the later part of the first or even the second century.
|O_o Thorough, but wrong|
So this prediction was started by a strange guy named Harold Camping.
|Anyone want to buy a nutjob? lol|
But, actually this isn't the first time that Christians have predicted the "End Times" In fact, people have been predicting the end of the world since it began. But for the sake of brevity I will list only Christian Apocalypse predictions. For a full list see the source site listed below.
Check this out:
1st Century Originator- Jesus -
"Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28) This implies that the Second Coming would return within the lifetime of his contemporaries, and indeed the Apostles expected Jesus to return before the passing of their generation."
2nd Century Originator - The Montanist Christian Sect
"The Montanists believed that Christ would come again within their lifetimes and establish a new Jerusalem at Pepuza, in the land of Phrygia. Montanism was perhaps the first bona fide Christian doomsday cult. It was founded ca. 156 AD by the tongues-speaking prophet Montanus and two followers, Priscilla and Maximilla. Despite the failure of Jesus to return, the cult lasted for several centuries. Tertullian, who once said "I believe it just because it is unbelievable" (a true skeptic if ever there was one!), was perhaps the most renowned Montanist. (Gould p.43-44)"
247 Originator - Early Christians
Rome celebrated its thousandth anniversary this year. At the same time, the Roman government dramatically increased its persecution of Christians, so much so that many Christians believed that the End had arrived.
380 Originator - Tyconius
The Donatists, a North African Christian sect headed by Tyconius, looked forward to the world ending in 380.
Late 4th Century Originator - Saint Martin of Tours
St. Martin of Tours (ca. 316-397) wrote, "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established already in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power." (Abanes p.119)
500 Originator - Sextus Julius Africanus
oman theologian Sextus Julius Africanus (ca. 160-240) claimed that the End would occur 6000 years after the Creation. He assumed that there were 5531 years between the Creation and the Resurrection, and thus expected the Second Coming to take place no later than 500 AD. (Kyle p.37, McIver #21)
995 Originators: Christian Mystics
The Feast of the Annunciation and Good Friday also coincided in 992, prompting some mystics to conclude that the world would end within 3 years of that date. (Weber p.50-51)
1284 Originator - Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III expected the Second Coming to take place in 1284, 666 years after the rise of Islam. (Schwartz p.181)
1504 Originator - Sandro Botticelli
"I Sandro painted this picture at the end of the year 1500 in the troubles of Italy in the half time after the time according to the eleventh chapter of St. John in the second woe of the Apocalypse in the loosing of the devil for three and a half years. Then he will be chained in the 12th chapter and we shall see him trodden down as in this picture."
Apparently, he thought he was living during the Tribulation, and that the Millennium would begin in three and a half years or so, which is understandable given the fact that he is known to have been a follower of Girolamo Savonarola. (Weber p.60)
1656 Originator - Unknown
Believed to be a possible date for the end of the world, 1656 is the number of years between the Creation and the Flood. (Skinner p.27)
1700 Originator - Puritans, John Napier, Henry Archer
The end of the world, according to some Puritans. (Kyle p.79)
John Napier's doomsday calculation #2, based on the Book of Daniel. (Weber p.92)
The date of the Second Coming, according to Henry Archer, a Fifth Monarchy Man. Archer made this prediction in his 1642 book The Personall Reign of Christ Upon Earth. (McIver #158)
1850 Originator - Ellen White - Founder of 7th Day Evangelists
Ellen White, founder of the Seven Day Adventists movement, made many predictions of the timing of the end of the world. All failed. On 1850-JUN-27 she prophesied that only a few months remained before the end. She wrote: "My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' ...now time is almost finished...and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months." 10
1914 Originator - Jehovah's Witnesses
1914 was one of the more important estimates of the start of the war of Armageddon by the Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). They based their prophecy of 1914 from prophecy in the book of Daniel, Chapter 4. The writings referred to "seven times". The WTS interpreted each "time" as equal to 360 days, giving a total of 2520 days. This was further interpreted as representing 2520 years, measured from the starting date of 607 BCE. This gave 1914 as the target date. When 1914 passed, they changed their prediction; 1914 became the year that Jesus invisibly began his rule.
February 13, 1925 Originator - Margaret Rowan
According to Margaret Rowan, the angel Gabriel appeared before her in a vision and told her that the world would end at midnight on this date, which happened to be Friday the 13th.
1936 Originator - Herbert W. Armstrong
Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, told members of his church that the Rapture was to take place in 1936, and that only they would saved. After the prophecy failed, he changed he date three more times. (Shaw p.99)
1952 Originator - Billy Graham
In 1950, a young Billy Graham stated "We may have another year, maybe two years. Then I believe it is going to be over." (Source: Article by Hugo McCord)
August 9, 1969 Originator - George Williams
Second Coming of Christ, according to George Williams, leader of the Morrisites, a 19th century branch of Mormonism. (Robbins p.77)
April 1, 1980 Originator - Willie Day Smith
Radio preacher Willie Day Smith of Irving, Texas, claimed that this day would witness the Second Coming.
September 27, 1994 Originator - Harold Camping [Deja Vu? lol]
Harold Camping, head of Oakland's Family Radio and host of the station's Biblical discussion talk show Open Forum, predicted the end in his book 1994? He calculated that the Tribulation would end on September 6, followed by the Last Day and the Second Coming of Christ between Sep. 15 and Sep. 27.
December 25, 1999 Originator - Martin Hunter
The Second Coming of Christ, according to doomsday prophet Martin Hunter. (Oropeza p.57)
October 4, 2005 Originator - John Zachary
The end of the world, according to John Zachary in his 1994 book Mysterious Numbers of the Sealed Revelation. The Tribulation was to begin on August 28, 1998. (McIver #3477)
April 29, 2007 Originator - Pat Robertson
In his 1990 book The New Millennium, Pat Robertson suggests this date as the day of Earth's destruction. (Abanes p. 138)
And Finally... the latest Failure
MAY 21, 2011 - ORIGINATOR- HAROLD CAMPING
Harold Camping, whose rapture predictions failed in 1994 and 1995, decided to jump back in to the date-setting game, predicting this as the day of the Rapture. His prediction attracted major publicity. "The Bible Guarantees It", the billboards proclaimed, and thousands of people around the world actually fell for it.
Yeah, so... the second coming didn't come... again.
Given that many Christians have spent 2000 years sitting around waiting for the world to end, and so far, their savior is a no show. One wonders... besides this being very disturbing [an orgasmic obsession with the death of everything that is]... doesn't anyone have a better use of their time?
Just a though.